Capitol Voices: A Request from Member Dennis Sharland

Buy Pies Graphic

UPDATE: TODAY, 11.19 is the LAST DAY to order pies!!

Click here to order:


Dear Events Industry Colleagues,

It’s that time of year again when I normally start hounding friends, family and colleagues to buy pies for Thanksgiving as part of a fundraising effort that benefits Food & Friends, a local non-profit organization that packages and delivers meals and groceries to more than 2,700 people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-challenging illnesses throughout the DMV. You might recall that I stood up at the monthly IAEE luncheon last year and spoke about the program. Thank you to those of you who responded last year and bought pies to help in the effort. Some of you came through in a big way (T3’s Greg McCormack this means you! )

This year however I am asking you my friends, the men and women of the events industry and members of IAEE DC not to just buy pies but to join me in helping sell pies by joining Team IAEE DC. Now before you start to tell me how busy you are let me say that you don’t even have to really even have to put much effort into selling them, more like just do what we do best, use our networks and send out a few emails. You can do that right ? I’ll even give you the messages if you want ( just ask) and all you have to do is copy, paste and personalize.

So how can you start? First just follow this link:

The very first field you will come to after you enter your email address is “Team Name” – just find IAEE DC in the list and fill out the rest; if you have auto-complete turned on for your web browser it shouldn’t take any time at all.

Now once you sign up to sell you will receive information from Food & Friends on how to customize your own sales page and use the tools that are part of their very handy “Pie Sellers Headquarters” to make selling painless. The tools include and email tool to help you ask your friends and family to buy pies, reminder emails as well as thank you messages when someone purchases. You don’t even have to use your own email (but you’re less likely to hit someone’s spam filter if you do). It’s really quiet painless and that warm and fuzzy feeling you get when the orders start to come in will make it all worthwhile.

This will be my 7th year selling pies for this very worthy cause. I hope you’ll join me.

Not up to the challenge ? You can still help out by buying a pie through me. This year they are offering 5 different pies baked by Baguette Republic right here in Sterling Virginia. The choices are: Spiced Pumpkin Pie, Homemade Apple Pie , Oh So Sweet Potato Pie, Nutty Pecan Pie, and the very decadent American Airlines Sky Pie (chocolate and amaretto married to a gourmet brownie).

The apple, pumpkin and sweet potato pies are only $25, the Nutty Pecan pie is $35 and the American Airlines Sky Pie is $45 but this extraordinary dessert comes with a chance to win 40,000 American Airlines miles and every pie purchased will provide one person a full day of meals. Imagine that: you get to eat pie and someone else just gets to eat as a result. Helping someone who needs it doesn’t get much easier than that.

Now before you start with excuses (on a diet, don’t live near a convenient pick up location), first, it’s Thanksgiving; you can allow yourself a slice of pie. If you are really that into depriving yourself of delicious pie, you can still do your part and buy one for your family or the nice old couple who lives next door. There is no one you like well enough to bestow a pie upon? You can always, buy one for one of the clients of Food and Friends.

When you click the link below it will take you to the Food and Friends Slice of Life website where you can safely place your order. During the order process you will be able to designate where you will pick up your pies. You can choose from the Food and Friend’s Fort Totten location or any one of 30+ CVS Pharmacy Store locations around the metro area (16 in DC, 8 in MD, 13 in VA). Pies purchased for clients will be delivered by Food and Friends. Pickup day is the Tuesday before Thanksgiving (November 26) and pickup locations will be open from 12noon – 8pm. For those of you who live or work at or near AFA Headquarters (1501 Lee Hwy Arlington) , if you want I will be happy to pick up your pie for you and deliver it to you around noon on Tuesday November 24 (just designate the Clarendon pick up location).

Please note, the link is personalized so that I can see if my efforts of annoying you annually to buy pie are having any impact (I get an email every time someone buys using the link). Last year my efforts generated 44 sales and a couple of donations totaling $1400 – so thank you to all of you who contributed. This year I would love to hit 50.

The last day to order is Thursday November 19.

And in case you are wondering, yes, part of the price of the pie is tax deductible and you will receive an appropriate receipt after Thanksgiving.

Thank you for your attention.


Dennis Sharland, CEM
Sr. Manager, Expositions & Advertising
Air Force Association
1501 Lee Highway, Suite 400 Arlington, VA 22209
(p) 703-247-5838

#MemberMonday IAEEDC Member Feature: Dennis Sharland


Name:  Dennis Sharland, CEM

Title:  Sr. Manager Expositions & Advertising

Company:  Air Force Association

What are your responsibilities with your company or event?

I am a one-person exhibits and sponsorship department in addition to being responsible for overseeing the ad sales company for Air Force Magazine.

Tell us about your company/organization/show:  

AFA is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization.

We promote a dominant United States Air Force and a strong national defense, and to honor Airmen and our Air Force Heritage. To accomplish this, we:

  • EDUCATE the public on the critical need for unmatched aerospace power and a technically superior workforce to ensure U.S. national security.
  • ADVOCATE for aerospace power and STEM education.
  • SUPPORT the total Air Force family, and promote aerospace education.

Our main show is the Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition.  This is THE show to be at if you want to get in front of the senior  leadership of the US Air Force, foreign air forces, the DoD, and members of congress/ hill staffers.

IAEE DC Involvement (Committees, etc):

I’m working on increasing  involvement in the chapter. Getting leadership support for this has proven to be a real challenge with significant changes in the organization over the last 2 years.

What drives your involvement with IAEE DC?

A strong desire to learn from my peers and grow in my career.

i-jnWXgW3-X3          1379685_539823906072855_2068411687_n

Best IAEE DC Experience:

The bowling event last year; it was a lot of fun.

How long have you been in the DC area?

With the exception of 4 years for college and a year after, I have lived here my whole life. I am one of the few who is actually from here.

What made you choose to live here?

I wasn’t really given an option since I was born here.

What is your favorite place in the DC area and why?

It’s really the whole area. DC has everything you might want in a city. Great history, museums, the memorials, sports activities with competitive teams in almost every major sport (The Wizards, The Capitals, The Nationals and DC United) and in the last 15 years or so, it has become a great food town with restaurants that can compete with every other major city. And if what you want isn’t IN DC, you are just a short drive to the mountains, the beach and with 3 major airports you can get there from here (wherever you might want to go). If you force me to pick one place, I would have to say the Air Force Memorial; there is no better view of the DC area than from there.

How did you first get involved in the industry?

Completely by accident… After college I needed a job, things got a tad desperate and so I applied for a customer service job at GES. So I guess you could say I was born into this industry behind the service desk.

Current/Past IAEE HQ involvement:

Currently serving on the CEM commission (2nd year), the Priority Points Task Force and joined the CEM Faculty in the fall of 2014.

What is the most interesting tradeshow other than your own that you have ever attended?

I can’t really pick just one. I think more than putting my finger on the cool factor of just one show, I would really have to say that is the fact that there are trade shows out there for every little niche. Two that jump to mind are the National Pest Management Association (all about controlling the creepy crawly slithering things we don’t want in our homes and offices) and then there is NATSO, the National Association of Truck Stop Operators… . I mean really, who knew this was even a thing ?

Tradeshow Bucket List- if you could attend any tradeshow that you haven’t yet, what would it be?


What book are you currently reading?

Not a big reader like I used to be but my last book was Inferno by Dan Brown.

What is your favorite activity in your free time?

Disc Golf , Shooting Sports, Cooking.

love to cook     cooking2

Where would you most like to travel that you have never been?


If you could have any career other than your current one, what would it be?
A psychologist doing counseling.

skeet shootin with Chuck

driving the airport tug